Concert raises money for Rochester violinist Kostia Lukyniuk

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CHARLOTTE, N.Y. (WHEC) — Music to help Ukraine continued over the weekend. There was a concert at "75 Stutson Street," a church in Charlotte.

The money raised will go to the people of Ukraine and to Rochester violinist, Kostia Lukyniuk.

Gary Brown, who has rocked on stage with Kostia, says he became very close with him, bonding over music. He says he keeps in contact with him. Gary said in a recent conversation that Kostia told him things that are hard to process.

"Last week he says, I’m excited, I got my bulletproof vest, me and my brother. That’s the atmosphere that he’s living in, “ Brown told News10NBC’s Stephanie Duprey.

Brown says Kostia is like a son to him. He says his band met Kostia randomly one day at a concert and before he knew it, they were playing on stage together.

"I approached him and I said how would you like a band to back you up? He said that would be awesome,” said Robert Santiago, another musician who’s also played on stage with Kostia.

Kostia Lukyniuk, an Eastman School graduate, has been playing his violin to raise money for his country. His student visa expired just as war broke out. Brown says Kostia made a stamp in Rochester. It’s not just the violin, but his kindness and willingness to help others that makes him unique.

"He’s very humble, he says, I’m fine, I’m fine, I said no, we’re going to try to for more from Rochester, because you touched us as we touched you,” Brown added.

It was 20 dollars at the door, and every penny will go to Kostia. He then will send it out to those in dire need in Ukraine. Brown says it warms his heart, to see the benefit concerts continue, but getting the funds cross country is harder than ever. Those hurdles have been hard to jump over.

"He said, one bank was bombed so he couldn’t go there anymore, and here is the thing, Wi-Fi is tough so he has to go to different parts of the city to do it,” Brown said.

There was no set amount of how much event organizers wanted to raise. The hope is that every dollar can provide a sense of relief to Ukrainians one by one.